More Unanswered questions about Newsweek’s false story


Marvin Olasky from Town Hall has some great questions for Newsweek that still need to be answered. Frankly the answers that Newsweek have given have been at best lame. An interesting read and furthers the point that Newsweek has a long way to go still before their false Koran story is going away. Have these media outlets learned nothing from the CBS fiasco? The false story and its ramifications are one thing, but to then become defensive and play dumb is sad.

Here are some of the questions posed to Newsweek:

Newsweek reporter Michael Isikoff says no one “foresaw that a reference to the desecration of the Koran was going to create the kind of response that it did.” Newsweek assistant managing editor Evan Thomas says Muslim reaction “came as something of a surprise” to the magazine’s editors.

As the writer ponders and many of us as well, “Why are national magazine editors so theologically illiterate”? Hasn’t the media for the better part of the war criticized the Bush war effort and policy in the Middle East as not understanding their way of life and culture? With as much criticism as they have offered, shouldn’t they maybe know what such an inflammatory story would do? Newsweek saw the reaction of prison abuse stories, didn’t they have an obligation to understand that their words had consequences and that the story should have been full-proof before going to print? The mainstream media elites tell us they know more then we do. Shouldn’t they already understand and know that a majority of the Muslim World is anti-American? The media has fanned this flame from the outset of the war in Iraq, now some how they are surprised by their actions?

Many young Muslims said they admired Osama bin Laden, while views of President Bush were uniformly negative. All focus group members rejected U.S. views of the war in Iraq, saying the United States invaded on a false premise to further its own regional goals.

Further questions to Newsweek are as follows:

If Newsweek claims a responsibility to print the truth, even when it’s likely to lead to riots, why didn’t it try harder to ascertain the truth? Sourcery — the use of anonymous sources — has long been a journalistic problem, and going with one spectral speaker on something explosive like this seems particularly questionable. (The biblical standard is the testimony of two witnesses, and they have to be willing to come forward.)

This is one that is a bit troublesome. Balancing a false story with maybe an even worse one.

Why did Newsweek, after getting this story wrong, report new Quran-into-the-latrine charges made by terrorists and their allies? The magazine “balanced” the new allegations by reporting a U.S. colonel’s statement that “If you read the Al Qaeda training manual, they are trained to make allegations against the infidels.” But since terrorist testimony is not credible, why quote such charges without independent investigation?

The best question of them all,

Is there a sickness at the heart of press liberalism that leads many journalists to want the Guantanamo story to be true? Given the way Islamofascists act, do these journalists have a death wish for themselves and Western civilization?

Posted May 19, 2005 by
Media, War on Terror | no comments

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